Female hawk at Race Street nest badly injured, taken to rehabilitation center

The adult male and one of the chicks, on the nest at Race Street Friday evening. (c) Greg Saulmon 2012

The adult female hawk from the Race Street nest was badly injured this week and taken to a raptor rehabilitation center.

The remaining adult male has been tending to the two chicks that hatched earlier this spring in the nest, which sits on the top platform of a fire escape outside a vacant building. On Friday evening both chicks wobbled around the nest, stretching their growing wings and working to steady themselves on their legs.

Tom Ricardi, who operates the non-profit Massachusetts Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Center from his home in Conway, said Friday that an environmental police officer brought the injured hawk to him on Wednesday. The hawk is suffering from a compound fracture in one wing, a fracture to the other wing and an injured leg.

Ricardi said he did not know how the hawk had been hurt, but suspected she may have been hit by a car. He described the hawk’s injuries as severe, and said he would monitor her for several days to determine whether she can be rehabilitated or if she will need to be euthanized.

Several people who live and work near the nest said the hawk was discovered Wednesday in the parking lot between the Canal Gallery and Wauregan building on Dwight Street. It appeared to be hurt, and someone reported the bird to the environmental police after it spent several hours in the parking lot.

Ricardi said he had asked the environmental police to keep an eye on the nest, to ensure the adult male hawk is able to adequately care for the chicks. If not, Ricardi said he is able to take in chicks at his rehabilitation center and care for them until they are ready to fledge.

Several years ago, Ricardi said, he took in a chick from the Race Street nest that had fledged too early.

The adult male was spotted mid-day Thursday sitting on a low fence across Race Street from the nest, clutching a freshly killed squirrel. Several people said the hawk stayed on the fence for a long time, calling in vain to its missing mate.

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